Hole 15 Hole 16 Hole 17

Year Three: Hole Commentary

Hole 15

The current 15th hole is a good mid-length par four which features the course’s only bunkerless green. Although bounded by wetlands along its right side, the current hole is rather disconnected from the water and this is an element that is to be addressed in the planned redevelopment of this hole.

The tees were previously rebuilt with the 14th green and the invasive Casuarina trees next to the tees will be removed and replaced by new dune mounding. A new rear championship tee will be constructed near the boundary fence and will play across the 18th carry. The existing ephemeral shallow wetland left of the fairway will be extended across into the carry, with a ‘dry’ route provided through this area for shorter hitters. The start of the fairway will be joined up with the adjacent 17th fairway – as was recently done with the fairways on holes 4 and 5 – and the two large Pine trees here will be retained and skirted up to allow views from the tee along the water’s edge and to the new green.

The primary change on this hole is to widen the fairway out to the water’s edge along the right side, along with the removal of a Pine tree at the inside corner of the dogleg. All the bunkers and mounding at the inside of the dogleg will be removed – which will be a contrast to the 17th hole where the inside corner bunker will remain – and turned into fairway. The first two left side fairway bunkers are retained but moved slightly right to be more in play, but the new fairway will still be wider than the current one. This brings the hole across to border the water, and golfers that take the risk of playing down the right side to hug the inside of the hole close to the water off the tee will be rewarded with the best and shortest line into the green. A safer play away from the water up the left will leave a longer approach with a line across the angle of the green and over the Fescue collar. One lone dune mound on the water’s edge will be retained and this is sited at a distance of around 320m from the new back tee, so it will need to be avoided by the long hitters. Where the fairway is brought across to adjoin the water a Fescue turfed bank will be created, as has been done along the 18th hole.

The green is to be moved across to the right by about half its width, while the collar of Fescue at the left of the current green will be a retained feature and a key element of the relocated bunkerless green. The existing Casuarina copse at the back right of the current green will be removed to facilitate this relocation. It is proposed to take a separate cart path out to the left and then along the rear boundary behind the green to the next tees, while foot traffic will remain going to the right.

The modifications proposed to the 15th will result in a dramatic change of character that will see the hole fit seamlessly into the wetland character of this corner of the course.

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Hole 16

The 16th hole is a fine par three set in a location where the spread of tees allows great variation in the length and angle of approach that the hole is played at. The hole turns its back on the northern boundary and plays south into the course. This tee variation will in fact be increased by the addition of a ‘high’ tee set on the dune at the eastern side, and the dune will need to be lowered a little to enable golfers and maintenance staff to safely access the tee top. It is also proposed that another toilet, like the one recently installed on the 5th hole, be built into the backside of the mounding at the rear of the 15th green and accessible from the 16th tee side. The tee path will be reconfigured to create a ‘holding’ area for buggies and carts.

The copse of Casuarina trees short left of the green is to removed, in keeping with the general philosophy of removing invasive Casuarinas from the course. This is to be replaced by a new dune mound with a slope that will feed into the front of the new green, creating a character reminiscent of the famed ‘Redan’ green at North Berwick in Scotland, allowing shorter hitters to run their shots into the green using this slope. Too far left though, and a running shot will be shed the other side of the ridge leaving a difficult recovery to a green sloping away from the golfer. New Pine tree plantings at the eastern side of this dune will reinforce the Pine character of this area.

The first row of small Pine trees that are closest to the current green will be removed to allow more space for the green and surrounds. It is proposed to fill in the front right greenside bunker and return this area to putting green, which will create a new front right pin spot next to the water that does not exist currently. The green will be slightly larger and wider than the current green, with a slight slope from the front into a flattish rear section with water to the right and rear. This will bring more of the putting surface close to the water than there is currently, in keeping with a general philosophy to bring the three holes 15, 16 and 17 all closer to the water. A new bunker will be built down the left side of the green as a hazard element for shots that are too fearful of the water and this bunker will be mostly blind from the tee, but, if achievable, a glimpse of the left portion of it would be desirable. Recovery from this bunker will be difficult across the green with water beyond and definitely should be avoided. Beyond the bunker a turfed hollow will help retain balls hit long left. It is also proposed to more regularly cut down the reeds in the wetland short of and to the right of the green to make the right edge of the green more visible from the tees.

A remodelled 16th hole will build on the strengths of the existing hole and create more interesting and challenging pin positions for better golfers while allowing more shorter hitting golfers the option of running their ball into the green with a well judged tee shot.

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Hole 17

The penultimate hole at Glenelg is a tough long par four than generally plays into the prevailing wind. The current hole is separated away from the water that borders its left side and the two large Pine trees at the inside corner are primarily responsible for that separation.

The path from the 16th green is to be taken all the way to the tees and a new rear tee added where a small Eucalypt tree will be removed, while the tees are to be reconfigured and elevated for better views down the hole. The ASR pump infrastructure between this hole and the 16th is right in the line of play from the new rear tee and this area requires some attention in terms of lowering its visual impact and removing the high bushes that have been planted around it. A new small forward tee is proposed before the new start of the fairway, which is to be extended back closer to the tees to assist shorter hitters. A new brush fence on the boundary will screen off the tees from the adjacent buildings. A Pine tree and two small Native Pines at the right side past the start of the fairway will be removed so as to widen the hole corridor, and further along the fairway another Casuarina at the right will be removed.

Along the left side it is proposed to reduce the height of the berm that sits along the edge of the wetland, remove the tussock vegetation planted on it and widen the fairway out to the water’s edge. The removal of the twin Pines at the left side are a key part of the improvement plans as these trees force shorter hitting golfers who have driven in the left half of the fairway to play their second shots well out to the right to avoid the trees. With these trees removed, shorter hitting golfers in the same position will have the choice of hitting over the corner of the wetland towards the green or playing more safely out to the right, a choice which is denied them currently. The fairway bunker at the left side will be retained but moved slightly further away from the water, which will allow the creation of a narrow section of fairway between the bunker and the water, where a good tee shot from a longer hitter can be positioned to give the best and shortest line into the new angled green, but it comes at a risk. This ‘risk-reward’ element is something that the existing hole lacks. Playing safe out to the right, away from the water, will leave a longer more difficult shot into the green. It is also proposed to more regularly cut down the reeds to a low level in the wetland left of the fairway to make the water more visible, while a Fescue turfed bank will be created, as has been done along the 18th hole.

It is proposed to join the 17th fairway to the 15th where the 15th fairway starts and the two Pine trees there will be retained and skirted up. Beyond this the current right side fairway bunker will be removed and a new ephemeral wetland flat, that is to be extended out from the 15th carry, will act as a hazard to long drives that may overshoot the fairway. Beyond this new wetland, the invasive Casuarina trees between the 15th tees and the 17th hole will be removed and replaced by new dune mounding. A new green will be constructed, slightly higher than the current green and set at an angle to the line of play and guarded by a pair of bunkers at the right side. The second bunker will be a ‘hybrid’ type bunker and will prevent access around the right of the green, forcing all access to the left, similar to the new greenside right bunker on the 11th hole. A turfed hollow with provide a hazard element at the left of the green, and a new ridge at the rear will provide separation between the green and the reconfigured 18th tees. Left of the green and behind the 18th tees, the existing invasive Casuarinas will be removed and a brush fence erected to provide low-level screening.

The redevelopment of the 17th hole will create a brilliant risk-reward hole more playable and memorable for all classes of golfers and will contribute considerably to strengthening the set of finishing holes at Glenelg.

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